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Marilyn Van Derbur
Denver, Colorado

After being crowned Miss America, Marilyn returned to the University of Colorado to graduate with Phi Beta Kappa honors.

For years, Marilyn has been in great demand as a keynote convention speaker. For 16 years, she was the only woman guest lecturer for General Motors. She was named “The Outstanding Woman Speaker in America” in a national survey of corporate and civic meeting planners.

As a result of being sexually violated by her socially prominent father from age 5 to age 18, her life shut down at age 45, and for 6 long years, she struggled to overcome the memories and feelings that overwhelmed her.

In 1989, she went to the Kempe National Center in Denver to ask for an adult survivor program to help other men and women. The Van Derbur family contributed $260,000 to establish the program, which would also concentrate on research.

Since 1991, Marilyn has spoken in 194 cities and personally answered over 7,000 letters. Marilyn has been in personal contact with more adults, sexually violated as children, than anyone else in America.

Realizing that a high percentage of children had been violated by older children (teenagers), she produced Once Can Hurt a Lifetime, a video, educating teenagers about the long-term trauma that can be caused by violating a younger child. Sixty-three PBS stations (including New York City, Philadelphia and Detroit) aired this video in primetime.

Marilyn co-founded two national non-profit organizations based in Washington, D.C., dedicated to strengthening the laws protecting adult survivors and child victims, and to stopping the sexual violations of children through public education and awareness.

Marilyn has received national awards from the Secretary of Health and Human Services for Exceptional Achievement in Public Service, the Distinguished Community Service Award from the Anti Defamation League and the Individual Award from CHILDHELP.

What She's Doing Now

Marilyn has produced 24 films, two of which won national and international awards. She also published a best seller book entitled Miss America By Day: Lessons Learned from Ultimate Betrayals and Unconditional Love . In her book, Marilyn shares the insights she has gained and the lessons she has learned through her correspondence with over 8,000 sexual abuse survivors and her personal conversations with tens of thousands of men and women, who often stood in line for hours to speak with her after each presentation. The 11th Annual Writer's Digest International Self-Published Book Awards has awarded Marilyn and her book “Miss America by Day” as the 1st Place Winner in its Inspirational category. One of only nine first-place winners of 1,900 total entries, “Miss America by Day” won top honors of 242 books entered in the Inspirational category.

It is now also available as an e-book (www.MissAmericaByDay.com). In April 2012 Marilyn will be the keynote speaker at an International Trauma Conference in Stuttgart, Germany. Her book has been translated into German.

For more information about Marilyn, please go to http://www.missamericabyday.com

Marilyn Van Derbur, Miss America 1958

Marilyn Van Derbur, Miss America 1958

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